The popular Mazda6 is gaining momentum and by some accounts has achieved the top spot in the midsize sedan market. A recent review by U.S. News places the Mazda6 in the No. 4 spot. Ranking the Mazda6 in this low position may have more to do with the competitiveness of the class than any glaring shortcomings of the Mazda6.
During their review, they gave high praise to the Mazda6’s positive handling characteristics as well as the finely tuned turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that’s available in Grand Touring, Grand Touring Reserve, and Signature trims.
Mazda’s use of quality materials on the interior of the Mazda6 was also reviewed positively. However, a disappointing lack of rear-seat passenger room and a sub-par infotainment system made it somewhat difficult to enjoy the quality materials. It’s the vehicle’s safety, however, that stands out most.
Standard safety features
Perhaps the most underrated highlight of the 2020 Mazda6 is its excellent safety rating. A long list of standard safety features exist such as automatic high-beam headlights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, pedestrian warning systems, blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warnings, and systems to warn prevent you from backing into objects. The Mazda6 will not only warn you of leaving your lane, but it will actually help steer you back into it.
In addition to these often premium safety features that are standard to the Mazda6, there are the normal safety systems we’ve come to expect but should not forget. Front weight-sensing airbags along with side-impact airbags and curtains along with three-point seat belts protect occupants in the event of a crash.
Anti-lock brakes, traction control, and brake assist help to maintain control of the vehicle, and child safety locks in addition to the integrated car seat and booster seat attachment anchors keep children safe and secure.
Available safety features
In addition to automatic high-beams which dim when they sense other cars approaching, the Grand Touring Reserve and Signature trims have adaptive headlights. The Mazda6’s adaptive headlights change with the speed of the car. When traveling slowly the low beams spread out to illuminate a wider area, but at highway speeds, the high beams will help you see further down the road.
Opt for the available front and rear parking sensors and 360º camera to ensure your safety and the safety of those near your vehicle when maneuvering tight spaces or simply pulling out of your own parking spot.
Safety awards from the IIHS and the NHTSA
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) performs extensive testing on vehicles in all segments. Their tests include actually crashing a Mazda6 into various barriers under controlled conditions to determine how well the car will protect the occupants. In all the IIHS tests for “crashworthiness,” the Mazda6 achieved a rating of “good” overall. The only “acceptable” ratings for occupants came during the small overlap front crash test for the driver’s side lower leg/foot area.
In the “crash avoidance and mitigation” tests, the ratings vary from “acceptable” to “good” for headlight systems because of the differences associated with vehicle trim levels. There are also differences between advanced features for vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention and superior vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention.
The IIHS awarded the 2020 Mazda6 a Top Safety Pick+ designation, which is the organization’s highest designation.
In addition to IIHS honors, the Mazda6 also earned a five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The NHTSA performs its own series of crash tests including frontal crash, side crash, and rollover tests.
Frontal crash testing simulates a head-on collision between two similar vehicles moving toward each other at 35 mph. The Mazda6 driver’s side earned five stars but only four stars on the passenger side. Overall, the Mazda6 earned a five-star rating for frontal crash protection.
Side crash testing combines simulated intersection collision and sliding sideways into a stationary object such as a tree. The Mazda6 earned five stars in every category including front and rear, driver and passenger sides.
The rollover test measures the vehicle’s resistance to tipping over in a loss of control scenario where no object is struck. The Mazda6 had a rollover risk of 10.3 percent, earning it a four-star rating in this category.